So I watching the news this morning and noticed that inflation in the UK dropped to 1.6% in March, which means that inflation has been on the decline for six straight months now, the longest extended period since records began. There’s also been a lot of talk today regarding tomorrow’s wage figures which many economists predict will show that average wage growth is finally outpacing inflation, ending a six year squeeze on real earnings. So we’re all better off than we were, right? Well, not so fast. There were also a couple of other conflicting reports out today that show that the situation with wages and inflation really don’t tell the full story.
Although it only happened last week the Heartbleed security bug - which placed millions of people’s passwords at risk – may seem like old news now, such is the world we live in. Even though the bug has now reportedly been fixed by the developers of the OpenSSL security system however, there is still a potential danger to the public that could go on for some time yet and that is the danger of phishing emails.
I can still remember the day that £2000+ of reclaimed PPI money dropped into my bank account. It came as quite a surprise really as I hadn’t even received the final letter from the bank to tell me they had agreed to my demands. Where did the money go? Well at the time my wife and I had just bought our first house and it was a much needed and welcome addition to the renovation budget. In that sense the money went straight into our account and then straight back out again, into the hands of building suppliers and home improvement stores like B&Q – which was our second home at the time.
Are you currently feeling totally overwhelmed by your financial situation? Don’t have a clue what you have coming in compared to what is going out? When you feel like this and the pressures of life start to pile up it can be very difficult to face up to the situation and it can instead be tempting to just try and ignore it. As time passes though things can quickly get worse and even out of control. If this sounds like your life at the minute then the most important thing you can do is to grab a pen and paper, flick the kettle on and start trying to make some sense of things.
When most people listen in on the annual budget given by the chancellor, they are usually interested in things like whether the cost of petrol or alcohol is going up, or whether they can expect to see an increase in their benefits or get some extra help with the cost of childcare. In amongst all of these announcements changes to things like tax-free ISAs can be easily missed. But that is exactly what the chancellor announced in the budget for 2014, an aptly named ‘New ISA’ which will come into effect on the 1st of July 2014. So what is so different about this New ISA? Before we discuss that, let’s just remind ourselves of what an ISA actually is.